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ESMC supports the action plan proposed by the European Commission on more ambitious and targeted deployment of renewables and requests quick and dedicated measures for the European solar PV manufacturing industry, to bridge the supply gap. ESMC’s proposed measures of critical importance are summarized below and can be found in full here.

Solar PV deployment and market clarity — the key factors to reduce energy dependence on Russia. EU should not only awake from the energy dependence on Russia, but should also take fast and dedicated measures to boost the deployment of renewables in the EU. ESMC congratulates the foreseen target that the largest share in gas import reduction from Russia till 2030 will be taken by solar and wind deployment along with heat pumps installations (205 bcm gas import reduction out of the total 279 bcm reduction). ESMC proposes to prepare detailed yearly European-wide solar PV deployment plans for the period 2022–2025, stating the deployment of renewables during this period.

Solar PV deployment and PV manufacturing in Europe — different sides of the same coin. The quick and ambitious extended solar PV deployment plans in the REPowerEU proposal should be equally reflected by EU support to the PV manufacturing industry in Europe. In 2020, the global EU manufacturing share in PV was 11% for polysilicon, 2–3% for modules, 1% for solar wafers and 0.4% for solar cells, while having a 15% shre of the global deployment. This led to a total trade deficit of about -7.88 billion euros from PV cells and modules for Europe in 2020. ESMC emphasizes that without properly addressing domestic PV manufacturing in Europe (the current industry challenges and market failures), EU is at risk of turning diminishing gas import dependence on Russia into long-term raw materials and PV hardware import dependency on China.

The forthcoming EU strategy on solar energy is a right and timely decisive step, but clear and quick measures are needed. ESMC proposes that along the adoption of the EU strategy on solar energy (foreseen in the next months) a concrete action plan should be proposed to re-establish PV manufacturing capacities in EU, including adequate public policies, financial support and other necessary measures

Competitiveness of the PV manufacturing industry will be ensured only under competitive capital financing conditions. A key component on this track, which needs to be practically aligned by the market, is financial capital at competitive costs — equity, debts and loans, and credit guarantees. ESMC advocates for a sustainably competitive European PV manufacturing sector by empowering the Recovery and Resilience Facility, Just Transition Fund, Important Projects European Interest (IPCEI) for PV and other support measures to secure long-term supply of PV components along the entire value chain.

Read the entire statement here.

Picture copyright: Voltec Solar

Žygimantas Vaičiūnas
ESMC Policy Director

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Johan Lindahl
ESMC Secretary General

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